Azad Jammu and Kashmir lies between longitude 730 - 750 and latitude of 33o - 36o and comprises of an area of 5134 Square Miles (13297 Square Kilometers).
The topography of the area is mainly hilly and mountainous with valleys and stretches of plains. Azad Kashmir is bestowed with natural beauty having thick forests, fast flowing rivers and winding streams, main rivers are Jehlum, Neelum and Poonch. The climate is sub-tropical highland type with an average yearly rainfall of 1300 mm. The elevation from sea level ranges from 360 meters in the south to 6325 meters in the north. The snow line in winter is around 1200 meters above sea level while in summer, it rises to 3300 meters.
According to the 1998 population census the state of Azad Jammu & Kashmir had a population of 2.973 million, which is estimated to have grown to 3.772 million in 2008. Almost 100% population comprises of Muslims. The Rural: urban population ratio is 88:12. The population density is 284 persons per Sq. Km. Literacy rate which was 55% in 1998 census has now risen to 64%. Approximately the infant mortality rate is 56 per 1000 live births, whereas the immunization rate for the children under 5 years of age is more than 95%.
The majority of the rural population depends on forestry, livestock, agriculture and non-formal employment to eke out its subsistence. Average per capita income has been estimated to be 1085 US$*. Unemployment ranges from 6.0 to 6.5%. In line with the National trends, indicators of social sector particularly health and population have not shown much proficiency. Efforts have been made during the recent past to make up this deficiency so that the fruits of development can be brought to the door steps of common men.
Economic survey of Pakistan 2007-08
Area under cultivation is around 166433 hectares, which is almost 13% of the total Geographical area out of which 92% of the cultivable area is rain-fed. About 84% households have very small land holdings between one to two acres. Major crops are Maize, Wheat & Rice whereas minor crops are, Grams, Pulses (red kidney beans), Vegetables and Oil-seeds. Major fruits produced in AJK are Apple, Pears, Apricot and Walnuts. Agriculture and livestock income ranges between 30-40% of household earnings. The remaining share comes from other sources including employment, businesses and remittances received by the families of Kashmiries working abroad. Reduced agriculture productivity has adversely affected the traditional lifestyle and per capita income of the rural households.
Azad Kashmir has a parliamentary form of Government. The President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir is the Constitutional Head of the State, while the Prime Minister, supported by a council of Ministers, is the Chief Executive. Azad Kashmir has its own legislative assembly comprising 41 directly and 8 indirectly elected members, a member each from Technocrats, Mashaikhs, Overseas Kashmiris and 5 female members. The AJ&K has its institutions of Supreme Court and High Court.
Lists of Presidents, Prime Ministers and Chief Executives are given below:-
Presidents of Azad Jammu & Kashmir
Name From To
o Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan 24 October, 1947 29 May 1950
o Captain (R) Syed Ali Ahmed Shah 30 May, 1950 3 Dec, 1951
o Mir Waiz Molana Muhammad Yousaf Shah 4 December, 1951 19 June, 1952
o Colonal (R) Sher Ahmed Khan 20 June, 1952 30 May, 1956
o Mir Waiz Molana Muhammad Yousaf Shah 31 May, 1956 7 Sep, 1956
o Sardar Muhammad Abdul-Qayyum Khan 8 Sep, 1956 13 April, 1957
o Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan 14 April ,1957 14 May, 1959
o Mr. K.H. Khursheed 15 May, 1959 15 Aug, 1964
o Khan Abdul Hameed Khan 16 August, 1964 17 Oct, 1968
o Brigadier (R) Abdur-Rahman 18 Oct, 1968 10 Nov, 1970
o Sardar Muhammad Abdul-Qayyum Khan 11 Nov, 1970 16 Apr, 1975
o Sheikh Manzar Masaud 17 April, 1975 4 June, 1975
o Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan 5 June, 1975 31 Oct, 1978
o Brigadier Mohammad Hayat Khan 1 Nov, 1978 31 Jan, 1983
o Major General (R) Abdur-Rahman 1 Feb, 1983 30 Sep, 1985
o Sardar Muhammad Abdul-Qayyum Khan 1 Oct, 1985 12 Aug, 1991
o Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan 12 August,1991 12 May, 1996
o Abdul Rasheed Abbasi 12 May, 1996 26 Aug, 1996
o Sardar Ibrahim Khan 26 August, 1996 31 July, 2001
o Sardar Muhammad Anwar Khan 1 August, 2001 26 July, 2006
o Raja Zulqurnain Khan 25 August, 2006 to be continuing.
Prime Ministers of Azad Jammu & Kashmir
Name From To
o Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan 14 Oct, 1947 23 Oct, 1947
o Khan Abdul Hameed Khan 5 June 1975 11 Aug, 1977
o Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan June, 1985 29 June 1990
o Mumtaz Hussain Rathor 29 June 1990 29 July 1991
o Sardar Muhammad Abdul-Qayyum Khan 29 July 1991 30 July 1996
o Barrister Sultan Mehmood Choudhery 30 July , 1996 24 July 2001
o Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan 24 July 2001 23 July 2006
o Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan 24 July 2006 06 Jan 2009
o Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan 06 Jan 2009 22 Oct, 2009
o Raja Farooq Haider Khan 22 Oct, 2009 To be continue
Chief Executive of the Azad Jammu & Kashmir
Name From To
o Major General (R) Abdul Rahman 12 August 1977 31 Oct,1977
o Brigadier (R) Mohammad Hayat Khan 1 Feb, 1977 31 Jan, 1983
o Major General (R) Abdul Rahman 1 Feb, 1983 3 Sep, 1985
Azad Kashmir is divided into three divisions (Muzaffarabad, Mirpur & Poonch) and eight administrative districts with Muzaffarabad as the capital of the state. The Muzaffarabad Division comprises of Muzaffarabad and Neelum, Rawalakot Division comprises of Bagh, Poonch & Sudhnuti districts whereas districts of Mirpur Division are Mirpur, Kotli & Bhimber. These eight districts are further divided into 27 subdivisions. The people's participation in the political and socio economic development is ensured through the elected institutions of the AJK Legislative Assembly comprising 41 directly and 8 indirectly elected members and the AJK Council with six elected members.
In 1947, at the time of partition, the economy in Azad Jammu and Kashmir was on subsistence level but the determination to develop the area was there. It was in early 60's when economic development of the area started in earnest. Despite financial constraints, successive Governments made good efforts in laying down a proper path for the development of the area.